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I Am Still In The Race Says Gusau

Posted by BY MUYIWA ADEYEMI on 2006/12/16 | Views: 828 |

I Am Still In The Race Says Gusau


Despite arm-twisting moves by some PDP governors to adopt Katsina State Governor Alhaji Umar Musa Yar'adua as a consensus candidate, former National Security Adviser Gen. Aliyu Muhammed Gusau said he is still in the race.

Despite arm-twisting moves by some PDP governors to adopt Katsina State Governor Alhaji Umar Musa Yar'adua as a consensus candidate, former National Security Adviser Gen. Aliyu Muhammed Gusau said he is still in the race.

Also, sources said that Prof. Jerry Gana was not part of the consensus arrangement as he will he has not given up in realising his ambition of ruling the country.

Gusau however, criticised what he described as "undemocratic" moves to force Yar'dua on the delegates.

In a statement signed by Prof. Ango Abdullahi and made available yesterday to The Guardian by Gusau's campaign organisation, the presidential aspirant said due process must be chosen in electing the flag bearer of the party.

The statement reads in part:

"Our attention has just been drawn to a statement purportedly issued by some governors and aspirants bidding for the presidential nomination of our great party the PDP that they have agreed to present a consensus candidate in the person of Katisna State Governor Alhaji Umar Musa Yar'Adua.

"We want it noted that the Aliyu Mohammed Gusua Campaign Organisation absolutely dissociates itself from this course of action.

"Our principal is a convinced democrat who wholly subscribes to due process and transparent mode of taking candidate for elective offices.

"To arrive at a so called consensus candidate on the eve of the party primaries in which 20 candidates have already been cleared flies in the face of democratic values and wholly negates the competitive and broad-based spirit for which our party is renowned.

"With this latest trend, it is clear that the rules are being skewed in favour of the candidate why the process has been put in jeopardy.

"Notwithstanding the development, we believe that wise counsel will still prevail and that the primaries will still go on in a free and unfettered manner devoid of intimidation, coercion and blackmail.

"As far as we are concerned the primaries are still on and we are sure of victory if the elections are conducted under a transparent and fair atmosphere."

Indeed, yesterday was rather a sad day for many presidential aspirants of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who were forced to lick their wounds when President Olusegun Obasanjo threw his weight behind Katsina State Governor Alhaji Musa Yar'Adua.

A source told The Guardian that the president had on Thursday night informed all the aspirants from the South to forget their ambition because the party had zoned the presidency to the North, asking some of them to position themselves for the post of Vice President.

It was gathered that two governors from the South-South who were not pleased with the decision but vowed to fight to the end made a U-turn when some security reports indicting them of various financial scams were presented.

The Rivers State governor Dr Peter Odili was said to have stepped down in a very dramatic way. "He did not put any resistance," a source said.

In fact, the Cross Rivers State Governor Mr. Donald Duke who many thought looked good to clinch the ticket was said to have wept when President Obasanjo told him to step down for Governor Yar'adua.

It was also gathered that some of the governors had complained that they were not part of the consensus agreement that threw Yar'Adua up and might work for a protest vote.

Sources said the presidency had promised two governors from the South South and the party governorship flag bearer in the Southeast the office of the Vice presidency.

It was gathered that high consultation was still going on as at press time to convince the former national security adviser Gen. Aliyu Gusau and former Minister of Information Jerry Gana to step down. Both aspirants were said to have been irked with the manner President Obasanjo had picked Governor Yar'adua and are planning to spring surprise at today's convention. Gusau is said to be having huge financial support from a former military ruler.

A source said while those who are financing Yar'Adua's ambition have made available the sum of N1m to each of the 5,000 delegates Gusau's financiers were last night said to be planning to give the delegates more than N1m each.

But a delegate who spoke to The Guardian last night confirmed that they had been receiving promises from the financiers of the aspirants were yet to receive the money.

A source said the presidency was still working on how to have a rancour free convention and would rather want the convention to be a coronation event for Yar'adua and was not happy with the hard stand of Prof. Gana and Gusau.

A source said the delegates had not been told the qualities seen in Yar'Adua for the presidency to have anointed him for the job.

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.